Dusky Heath (Coenonympha dorus)

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2017 photographs highlighted in yellow. Click on any photograph to go to an enlarged picture, or simply scroll down the page.

2499_male_Var_8Jul06 11117_male_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Jun08 43578_sex?_Var_29Jun17
 
43761_sex?_Lozère_03Jul17 43766_sex?_Lozère_03Jul17  

A heat-loving butterfly limited to the far south-east (in France), sometimes quite common. It is quite intricately marked and can vary between quite richly coloured, as 11117, to quite “washy” as in 2499. The underside metallic submarginal band is usually visible as in the enlarged version of 11117 below.

Other Heaths have this, and I find it quite strange that otherwise quite dull butterflies (compared to their more illustrious cousins) are blessed with a metallic stripe.

In the Cévennes region of southern France the form microphthalma occurs, probably to the exclusion of the nominate form, where the ocelli are greatly reduced. This form is not mentioned in T&L although it is mentioned in TLID (where it is described, probably incorrectly, as microphtalma). 43761 and 43766 are typical examples of this form.

ref sex

observations

alt. m
2499 M

unusually pale, and it doesn't seem due to wear. The ocelli are also quite small.

780
11117 M

a fresh male, lovely bold ocelli and a wide fresh silver submarginal stripe.

35
43578 ? a particularly dark and sombre dorus. The unh post-discal band is very white and strongly contrasted to the adjacent bands. The colouring is rather cold and the unf ocellus is unusually large. 680
43761 ? An example of the form microphthalma from the Cévennes. It has a very pale and warm colouring which makes the silver stripe, especially on the unh, stand out quite clearly. 990
43766 ? another example of microphthalma, even more extreme than 43761. 990

 

2499_male_Var_8Jul06

 

11117_male_Bouches-du-Rhône_4Jun08

 

43578_sex?_Var_29Jun17

 

43761_sex?_Lozère_03Jul17

 

43766_sex?_Lozère_03Jul17